In the Service of The Self
We spend almost all of the limited time we have in service of ourselves. Taking care of our bodies, our minds, our material possessions consumes most of our day. We have to eat, exercise, bathe, floss, and perform an innumerable number of tasks to keep our bodies in good health. We also have to meditate, sleep, and find other de-stressing activities to do to keep our minds calm. Between work and sleep, almost two thirds of our lives are spent, never to be regained. Why do we do this?
Is Mind > Body?
The human experience and intellect is tied inexorably with the human physical condition. Having evolved on the Earth in the environment that we have, our minds cannot fathom an intellect or a sentience beyond the human self, beyond the human body and its mind. Our experiences, memories, and even our ideals and values — which many think are absolutes — are shaped fully within the framework of human mortality and the transience of ourselves and of our home in this universe.
How are you, Ms. Tree?
If that sounds incredulous, consider this: Can you, a human, imagine the mind of a tree? “Sure, I can”, you may think. But a tree has a very different sense of mortality, and a wholly different sense of individuality than a human does. Trees live on almost forever, regenerating themselves from bits of their roots like Hydra do. Trees also merge with “other” trees in their root systems or canopies to form large forests that, to a human sense, are neither individuals nor a group. Separate yet biologically one individual: There is no equivalent in human language or thought for such a concept.
That we are bound by the path that has led us here through millennia of evolution is nothing to despair. There is a clear path forward: The Road. It is on the Road that we meet fellow travelers who can show us how much wider our mind can see once we break out of our human shell.
Imagine the endless Multiverse we can experience without the weight of a mortal body and a shackled mind.